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Cranial Nerve X - Vagus Nerve

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2018

The vagus nerve, identified as cranial nerve X, originates in the area between the pons at the base of the brain stem and the spinal column, and extends down through the neck into the chest and abdomen. The vagus nerve includes both sensory and motor nerves and, although they contain both voluntary and involuntary branches, the involuntary members predominate. The voluntary components are motor fibers Continue Scrolling To Read More Below...

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Continued From Above... that carry impulses to muscles in the larynx to aid in speech and swallowing. Other sensory fibers carry impulses from the lining of the larynx, pharynx, esophagus, thorax and abdomen to the brain. The involuntary motor fibers supply the heart and several of the smooth muscles and glands in the organs of the thorax and abdomen. Since these nerves are the tenth pair of cranial nerves, they are numbered X.